Gender Equality in Indonesia
Indonesia has introduced a number of reforms to progress gender equality, including violence against women legislation. But significant challenges remain, particularly in relation to discriminatory laws and practices around to marriage and family. Indonesia has made advances on women and girls’ education, coming close to achieving parity for primary, secondary and tertiary education. However only 53 per cent of women are active in the labour market, compared to 87 per cent of men.
Female representation at the national and local parliament has remained low, and particularly inadequate in critical areas of public service and decision-making. This is still occurring despite the enacted law of 2003 that request political parties to nominate least 30% female candidates for the national and local parliament for each electoral district.
Important efforts have been made to increase women’s access to health services but Indonesia still has a high maternal mortality rate. The ratio of women living with HIV/AIDS jumped from 2.5% to 25% in the last ten years, with the majority being infected by their partners. Women with HIV/AIDS are reported to have experienced violence such as sexual abuse and forced sterilisation.
The average annual growth of women entering the labour market is higher than men but women continue to face high unemployment rates, poor quality work and wages and a higher level of economic informality. An increasing number of women are being pushed to find opportunities outside the country, and these migrant workers continue to face abuses in terms of working conditions, low wages and abuse.
In 2012 Indonesia was ranked 91 out of 154 countries in the Social Watch Gender Equity Index and 32 out of 86 in the 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index.
OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) 2012 http://genderindex.org/country/indonesia
Social Watch Gender Equity Index http://www.socialwatch.org/taxonomy/term/527
World Bank (2013) Indonesia - Kesetaraan gender. Indonesia Gender policy brief no. 1. Washington DC : World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/01/17559650/indonesia-gender-equality-indonesia-kesetaraan-gender (accessed 25 September 2013)
World Bank, Data Indonesia http://data.worldbank.org/country/indonesia (accessed 23 Sep 2013)